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Black Tide
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Black Tide Biography

Ever since he was eight years old, Gabriel Garcia knew exactly what he wanted to do with his life - write songs, sing lead and play shredding guitar for a hard-rocking band. "My cousin used listen to Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Pantera and all that stuff," Gabriel remembers. "He played it for me, and he taught me how to play guitar. And then I just practiced my ass off." Gabriel learned fast; six years later, at an age when most budding guitarists are still getting their chops together and dreaming of future stardom, his band Black Tide has already opened for Ozzy Osbourne and Lamb of God on the mainstage of OZZfest 2007, and are preparing to unleash Light From Above, their debut record for Interscope. Don't let Black Tide's youthfulness fool you; Gabriel may be only fourteen, and his three bandmates all under twenty, but this Miami-based band is unquestionably the real deal. Gabriel, guitarist Alex Nunez, bassist Zakk Sandler and drummer Steven Spence hit the stage with a street gang's confident swagger, and back it up with a combination of raw power and highly developed chops that would easily shame bands ten years their senior. "We're young, and we come from Florida," says Zakk, "but that doesn't mean we're a boy band or a novelty. We rehearsed our album every day in our guitarist's garage, in the middle of the summer in Miami. We weren't working on our choreography, and we certainly weren't waiting around for our next song to come in the mail!" Black Tide first started playing Miami-area clubs about four years ago, shortly after Zakk - at the time, a lead guitarist for a rival group - agreed to fill in for a couple of gigs on bass. ("How quickly two shows become four years," Zakk laughs.) Though Gabriel was only ten at the time, none of the older guys were remotely fazed by the idea of playing in a band with him. ""It wasn't weird at all to be in a band with a ten year-old," Zakk explains, "Because it was just like, 'This kid is fucking talented!'" Interscope signed Black Tide and flew them to Chicago, where they recorded their debut album, Light From Above, at Groovemaster Studios, with Johnny K (Disturbed, Machine Head, Soil) producing. "They took four Miami boys and threw us into the middle of the Chicago winter," laughs Zakk. "There was nothing we could do except work on the record day and night." After the album sessions wrapped, the band scored their coveted main stage slot on OZZfest 2007. "It was crazy, man," says Gabriel. "Sharing the stage with Ozzy and Lamb of God, it was just an awesome feeling. I've been listening to Lamb of God constantly for the past two years; then we got to meet them, and they turned out to be really cool." "We learned so much about touring on OZZfest," adds Zakk. "We learned what the pros do. It was our first real tour, so it was like, 'Okay - this is how you properly soundcheck; this is how you properly sing into a mic; this is what you should never say to a crowd in Detroit!'" After ending 2007 on another high note - a six-week tour with Avenged Sevenfold - the band is ready to take it to a whole other level with the release of Light From Above. You read it here first - 2008 is the Year of Black Tide. - Dan Epstein

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